Metamedia ia a studio and lab that pursues research and pedagogy in design history and media materialities.
It is located online, in Stanford Archaeology Center, and has worldwide affiliates.
Metamedia combines archaeology and media, with an archaeological and long-term focus on how people get on with things, with media(works) treated as modes of engagement between people and things. Media as artifacts and prostheses as well as systems to convey meaning: we emphasize the materialities of mediation at the heart of design - the way the steel was burnished, the clay was turned, how the vessel connects makers and materials, users and contents in genealogies of containment, portage, representation ... whatever work gets done.
Metamedia - an archaeological media lab
- because time, historicity and memory are at the heart of media, in re-presentation, record, documentation, archive - mediawork is temporal process - constantly revisiting the past, reworking, re-presenting
- because mediation is at the heart of time, our sense of history (historicity), and memory - the past, to live, has always to be brought into the present - visualized, written about, re-presented in its traces - mediated
- because media are artifacts and archaeology is THE discipline of things
- because we do well to remember the materiality of all media, understanding our writing, visualization, our conversation, our work in video and sound as material modes of engagement with objects, environments, each other, through instruments and material modalities - media are so much more than the communication of messages, texts, images
An archaeological view of media
- there is an archaeological sensibility
at the heart of contemporary experience.
We are all archaeologists now ...
working on what is left of the past ...
mediating, (re)negotiating, recounting ...
- sorting things out in acts of re-collection, working on the shape of data and information that enable mediawork - archaeologists collect, classify and build archives
- interested in the nature of documentation - as archaeologists, we all document through material traces, retelling "the way it was"
- investigating of the qualities of things - archaeology, par excellence, is the science and art of things, of "the real"
- fascinated, when we realize that "this happened here", to explore the nature of place as collocation of structures, forms, people, plants, animals, events, histories, ecologies
- with a forensic and site-specific outlook that "at a scene of crime anything might be relevant"
- concerned with "what becomes of what was" - what comes after the event - loss, decay, document, and regeneration
- wondering - is this me, is this who we are? - these traces, these remains of what was ...
Practice as research
- a democratic and collaborative assembly of archaeologists, anthropologists, classicists, communications experts, new media practitioners, performance artists, sociologists, software engineers, technoscientists, and anyone else who wants to join
- a creative studio space - emphasizing the poetics, the reworking of past in present
- a laboratory space for experimenting and taking risks
- a forum for conversation
- an archive for the information age
- a classroom for inspiration
- cross-cutting disciplines and fields of practice - because
Archaeology is THE art/science, past/present,
of our social, cultural, material fabric
Here are some more notes on the idea of a Humanities Lab - [link]